Nalong - Chapter 18

Disclaimer: I don't own the TMNT or associated characters, Splinter, April, Casey, Bebop, Rocksteady. All I own are the OCs and the plot of this little story. I make no money from this and I foresee no change in any of these things. Please don't sue me.

A/N: Alright, There was a HUGE error in here, that no one called me on, but it's been driving me crazy since I found it, so I have fixed it and touched up this chapter a little.

A huge Thank You to Midnight Heir for being my guinea pig and taking the time to check this over for me. THANKS! And as usual Thank You to all you wonderful reviewers out there.

Ok, About the alarm. Raphael and Leonardo knocked out 4 guards in Chapter 16: Weapons and Extremists. Those guards were found unconscious by their buddies and the intruder alarm was sounded. It just so happened to coincide with Donnie and Mikey shutting the door.

Annie and her terrapin escorts headed toward the central guard house. Only three guards ever patrolled the small tower, but it was from there that reveille sounded every morning. Today it would be coming a little early.

With some luck Annie could get the job done without needing Donnie or Mikey to assist her; they were the contingency plan. The bugle sat on a small table unguarded and unnoticed for most of the day. Only the bugler noticed it and only when he was playing it. Now was not one of those times.

"Alright Annie, you're up." Mikey whispered.

She concentrated, and a moment later the bugle shot out the second story window and was deftly caught by Michelangelo. The two turtles had been told about Annie's telekinesis. It was raw, she could only cause gross, general movements, but it was enough, as long as someone could catch the bugle. Annie could push everything off a table, but could not single out one item on that table to move, which explained the glass of water that accompanied the bugle and shattered at Mikey's feet sending glass shards flying and causing the three prisoners to jump backward. One other item also flew out the window, a very familiar nunchaku. The look on Mikey's face was begging Don to go against his better judgment.

"Alright Mikey, but we have to move fast."

Michelangelo nodded enthusiastically and handed the bugle to Annie. He wanted both hands free for what they were about to do. The trio moved toward the tower. It was locked, but time was of the essence here, not stealth, and Mikey's flying kick made short work of the door. He led the way up the stairwell with Donatello close at his heels and Annie not far behind.

"Down, Mikey!" Don shouted as the three tower guards came into view. Michelangelo obeyed immediately and Donnie used his brother's shell as a jump off point. From the air Donatello latched onto the arm of one of the guards and let his momentum pull the guard over. The man started to tumble down the stairs, and in one smooth motion Mikey gently slid Annie out of the way and came around, kicking the man on his way by to make doubly sure that he wasn't getting up anytime soon.

Don was tangling with a second guard and Mikey pulled a leg out from under the third. Michelangelo watched as the guard tumbled head over heels down the stairs. Behind him, Donnie lost his footing, but managed to pull the guard he was fighting down with him. Mikey clamped one hand onto the handrail and snagged his brother's shell with the other as the fighting pair tumbled by.

"Oof! Thanks Mikey." Donatello lay sprawled on the steps, but at least he wasn't falling down them.

"Hey, what are brothers for? Heads up, Donnie," Michelangelo added as he pushed the guard. The man fell over the turtle on the stairs and went to join his friends. Mikey, Don and Annie continued upward.

The tower was not meant for much more than a high place that allowed the sound of the bugle to carry, but evidently the bugler had some sort of fascination with traditional weaponry. All sorts of things were around the room. Many weapons were displayed prominently on the walls, while still others seemed to be lying about as if they were going to be displayed, but hadn't been put up yet. Michelangelo's other 'chuck was lying on the floor beside the table.

Donatello was amazed by the sheer number of weapons all gathered here in this one place. It was an impressive collection that had probably been gathered off of other prisoners who had fought back. Don had to wonder how many of the prisoners had been ripped from their homes in the dead of night. Most people didn't carry around weapons like this on their backs. Well, he and his brothers carried weapons around, but they weren't what he considered 'most people'. He searched the walls for his bo staff as well as Leo's katana and Raph's sais. Picking out the individual weapons from the vast collection was harder than he would have thought. He bypassed a section of manriki gusari, glanced over several tanto knives, a few tonfas and a rather vicious looking axe that might have been Roman, and continued to pan his gaze along the walls. When he came across some shuriken he tucked a few into his belt, handed some to Mikey and moved on. The first items of interest that caught his eye were the swords. Certainly the most popular weapon in the room, Don searched for the Leo's familiar twin katana. He moved closer to look for details. There were three pairs displayed on the wall, two of which had blue wrapping on the hilts, but he knew his brother's weapons and quickly removed the correct pair.

Michelangelo spotted Don's bo staff among the items on the floor and picked it up. He searched for Raphael's sais, but they didn't seem to be there.

"Hey Donnie, catch," Mikey called out as he tossed the bo to his brother without looking. The clang of metal on the floor startled him and his gaze snapped to the other turtle.

Donatello fixed Mikey with a glare. One hand grasped one of Leo's katana, and the other was wrapped around his bo. The second sword lay on the floor at his feet.

"You are so lucky I didn't get myself with that thing." Don warned his brother.

Mikey grinned innocently.

"Here, make yourself useful." Don tossed the sword in his hand to his brother, after making sure Mikey was looking and not otherwise occupied of course, then he followed by tossing the second sword and returning his bo in its rightful place on his back.

Donatello was searching the wall for Raphael's sais again before Michelangelo even caught the second sword.

"What am I supposed to do with these?" Mikey asked.

Don shrugged as he found two very familiar sais and rescued them from their spot on the wall. He tucked the items away in his belt and looked over at Mikey, who was holding the katana rather awkwardly. Even though he knew how to use them perfectly well, that didn't mean he knew what to do with them right now.

"Carry them, we'll find Leo soon enough." Don shouted back as he and Annie headed back down the stairwell.

Mikey groaned, but hurried after his companions.

"Shouldn't we do this from up there?" Annie asked.

"No, we want to be clear of this place before the guards know something's up. They'll hear well enough. Besides, the others are going to start making rounds to get people out." Don explained quickly.

As soon as they reached a safe distance Annie put the bugle to her lips and reveille sounded early. Clear, crisp notes shattered the silence of the morning. The prisoners of this place would be out of their barracks in moments, and the group here could only hope that Leo, Raph, and the others were in position. Annie dropped the bugle to the ground and the trio split up and ran for the three nearest barracks to start their next task.

"Alright, that's our cue," Leo instructed when he heard the bugle, "let's move."

Raphael, Steve, Eric and Leonardo headed in different directions. Each individual took a different barrack and sent the occupants to tell others, then escape through any gate they found. They had a 45-minute window that Donatello had programmed in. No one could close or lock the gates during that time once they had been unlocked. Everything had to happen fast if they were going to get this done in the allotted time.

Raphael raced between barracks getting the prisoners out and he noticed Alejandro doing the same in the area. The two joined forces and made quick work of that end of the camp.

Mikey was still running around with Leo's katana, and he was feeling downright awkward with them. The prisoners didn't take all that kindly to being busted in on by a giant turtle with a pair of three-foot long blades either. As he raced out of yet another barrack Michelangelo noticed two animal-men headed the wrong direction. They were headed away from the gates, but weren't really headed toward anything else that Mikey could tell either.

"Hey dudes!" Mikey called out. "Exit's that way!"

The rhino and warthog stopped and turned to Michelangelo.

snort "Are you sure?" The warthog asked.

"Hey, it's one of them toitle guys!"

Michelangelo was struck by the oddest sense of déjà vu. These dudes were familiar, but he couldn't place them or figure out why he felt like he should know them.

"I'm pretty sure." Mikey replied.

"Are you sure you're sure?" The rhino demanded.

"I'm sure, I'm sure. There's nothing over there except fields. Out's that way! See those people? Follow them." Mikey moved around the two towering oafs and gave them a shove in the right direction.

"Out, here we come!" The warthog grunted as he headed off in the direction Mikey had pushed him.

Mikey cocked an eyeridge at the strange creatures. The tips of Leo's katana were resting in the dirt to Michelangelo's sides as he tried to pull himself back to the present. He still felt like he knew them somehow. Three guards tried to place themselves in the path of the rushing creatures but were thrown aside effortlessly. Well, at least the way would be plowed for that group of escapees. Mikey could only hope that they continued in the right direction. He had to get back to his family.

Leonardo raced through his section and headed to the predetermined meeting spot. He was soon joined by Raphael and Alejandro. Mikey and Annie showed next, followed by Eric, Donnie and finally Steve.

You are the last! Get out of here before it is too late!

The voice ripped through their minds like a knife. It was startling and most of them didn't know what to make of it.

"That's Nalong." Raphael explained.

"It's probably best that we listen to him." Donatello added.

The group ran for the fence. In moments they were out and racing through the woods surrounding the complex. Suddenly, Eric halted.

"Someone's looking for you guys." He said to the turtles.

"Yeah, the guards, the protectors, and probably every other loony in that cult!" Raphael exclaimed grabbing Eric's hand and pulling him along.

You are still too close, MOVE! It was Nalong again, spurning the group into another sprint.

"It's not the cult!" Eric insisted. "These people, they want you back. There is friendship, or closer, maybe family?"

"Master Splinter?" Leo ventured as he ran.

"You said 'they', so more than one?" Donatello asked. "Maybe Casey and April are with him too." He added at Eric's nod.

"That way," Eric directed them.

The group dashed through the woods in the indicated direction.

You need to get clear NOW! Nalong's messages were becoming more insistent, but they were moving as fast as they could.

Donatello heard a familiar engine noise, one that he would know anywhere no matter how out of place it seemed. He pulled the group toward the nearby road and was rewarded by the sight of the Battle Shell rolling over the hill.

Raphael flagged the vehicle down and the group clambered into the back end.

Now, my friends, get out of here! You need to get away from this place!

"No time to explain, just floor it April," Leo commanded, "Back the way you came!" He amended when she continued toward the complex.

April spun the vehicle in a skidding U-turn and the Battle Shell shot away from the camp.

"Whooooaaaaa!" Several voices cried out from the back where they hadn't had a chance to strap in, and there weren't enough seatbelts for all of them anyway.

"Oh sure, she gets to do the fun driving!" Casey complained.

They were almost a mile out from the camp when a bright white light flashed and lit up everything. April slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting something she couldn't see.

The presence they all felt now was strange, but Raphael, Alejandro and Donatello all immediately recognized it as Nalong. They weren't told anything this time, instead it was knowledge, they just knew that all the prisoners were free and that the cult's headquarters was in ruins. It would be many years before the cult could even begin to do something like this again, and even then it would probably never work. A blast like that could not go unnoticed by the media, even in a place as sparsely populated as this.

A voice reverberated through the air, though the individuals in the Battle Shell were the only ones to hear it.

You are nalong, all of you. Donatello, Raphael, Alejandro I am glad to have had the privilege of your acquaintance and I thank you. You are the source of the river that set us all free.

The light continued, but now there was a silhouette of a large lizard standing on his hind legs. The lizard bowed deeply in respect and then he was gone. The turtles and their friends and family were sitting in the rig, most looking at each other in confusion.

"What was that all about?" Leo asked looking to Don and Raph.

"Just something he told us after the Course." Raphael said simply. "That's all." Leo let the subject drop, he could get the story later.

Once the Battle Shell was pulled safely over to the side of the road the group got out and looked back at where the complex once stood. It was gone. The hill it once occupied had been leveled.

"Someone's going to notice that mountain's missing." Michelangelo quipped.

The laughter started nervously, but it became more heartfelt as the moments passed. April was the first to pull Michelangelo in for a hug, starting off the family welcome.

Steve smiled. His new friends were back where they belonged. They had a great family and that was where they should be. Eric, Annie and Alejandro looked a little left out, but soon introductions were made and they were welcomed by this strange, wonderful family. Steve felt privileged just to have met them, much less actually be accepted.

Leonardo glanced over at Steve and noticed that some of the pain that was so familiar in the man's eyes was gone. He smiled at his friend who had had such a hard life.

Donatello gazed back at the smoking space that had once been a hill. Their time there was finally over and Donnie could not have been happier about that, but the best thing about this moment was the simple knowledge that they were going home. Sirens blared in the distance.

"Come," Splinter called, "It is time to leave this place."